Smiljan Radic – Serpentine Pavilion 2014

A weird object coming from a remote dimension troubled the quietness of nature.

The Pavilion designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radic for the Serpentine Gallery has landed in Kensington Gardens and drew the attention of many curious visitors throughout all the summer. The cooconing shelter, was conceived by Radic to surprise the public and provide an unique spatial experience in line with the tradition of the English garden folly. Like a giant reptile skin, the cylindrical structure embodied sci-fi / prehistorical fantasies, reminescent of Kubrick‘s 2001 Space Odyssey. Its rocky foundations were grounded into today’s reality and organically blended with the surrounding nature. By playing on the clash of contrasting materials, the architect used a paper-thin layer of white fibreglass to make the traslucent shell, innerly reinforced with asymmetrical metal bars. The apparent fragility of the external surface hidden a solid skeleton which both support the structure and offered to the visitors places to sit. Despite the lack of architectonical continuity in the building’s rythm, what made the ephemeral construction extremely fascinating was the juxtapositions of contrasting materials that mixed geological power with the delicacy of things that feel naturally grown.  

With its mysterious aura, the odd object took over a sort of symbolic meaning and reproduced a urban and temporary version of Stonehenge.

  • Smiljan Radic – Serpentine Pavilion 2014

    Article by
    Cecilia Musmeci



    Cecilia Musmeci


    Serpentine Galleries


    26 Jun – 19 Oct  
    Kensington Gardens
    Hyde Park